Food sensitivities are adverse reactions to specific food types, usually caused by insufficient production of the enzyme required to digest the particular food. Symptoms range from bloating, diarrhoea and nausea to rashes and migraines.
Symptoms of food sensitivities
There is a variety of symptoms related to food sensitivities from digestive problems, mood changes and skin reactions. Some of the common symptoms are listed below:
Food sensitivities and intolerances can be triggered by a number of
causes and making an accurate diagnosis can be difficult. In the first
instance, visit your GP who will ask about your symptoms and medical
If you are unsure which foods may be the problem, the GP may ask you to keep a food log to identify any patterns to the food you eat and your symptoms. This may be combined with some diagnostic tests such as blood tests, endoscopy and breath tests.
Blood tests are used to rule out Coeliac disease – a common disorder of the autoimmune system which causes the body to attack the small intestine when eating a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Blood tests can also help to screen for lactose intolerance.
An endoscopy involves a thin flexible tube with a camera being placed into the stomach through the oesophagus. This test can help diagnose Coeliac disease plus any damage to the small intestine.
A breath test measures the amount of hydrogen in the breath and is sometimes used to test for lactose intolerance.